Greta Garbo by Hurrell. Greta Garbo (18 Sept 1905–15 April 1990), Swedish film actress and an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. In 1941, she retired at the age of 35 after appearing in twenty-eight films. Although she was offered many opportunities to return to the screen, she declined all of them. Instead, she lived a private life, shunning publicity.